Historical Atomic Liquors reopens Thursday in downtown Las Vegas

Joyce Lupiani

Historical Atomic Liquors reopens Thursday in downtown Las Vegas

CREATED Jun. 17, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The day that many Las Vegas history buffs and cocktail lovers have been waiting for is almost here.

The historical Atomic Liquors on East Fremont Street will reopen its doors to the public on Thursday.

The event will be marked with a ceremony at noon with a "ribbon torching" by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

Atomic Liquors actually started as a cafe named Virginia in 1945. During the early 1950s, customers would gather on the roof of the building to sip on cocktails and watch the nuclear blasts from the Nevada Test Site.

The name of the cafe was changed to Atomic Liquors in 1952 and the establishment received the first package liquor license and off-sales permit in Las Vegas.

The bar became a favorite hangout for many well-known entertainers including Roy Rogers, the Rat Pack, Barbra Streisand and The Smothers Brothers.

It is also rumored that Bugsy Siegel may have actually played a hand in the establishment's early days and that union organizer Jimmy Hoffa may have once hung out in the bar.

The bar, with its iconic sign, also gained fame outside of Las Vegas by appearing in several television shows, movies and music videos.

Atomic Liquors was owned Joe and Stella Sobchik from the day it opened. After their deaths  just three months apart in 2010 and 2011, their son decided to sell the bar.

The bar was purchased in June of 2012 and has undergone an extensive renovation. However, the owners have gone to great lengths pay tribute to the bar's history.

The establishment was purchased by brothers Lane and Kent Johns and downtown business owner Derek Stonebarger.

According to Stonebarger, the place is not your ordinary watering hole. "This place is as much a museum as it is a bar. We've started calling it a 'bar-seum.'"

The bar will be open from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays to cater to the late-night crowd.

Future plans include a patio for patrons and film screenings in the parking lot.